Built To Last: Microsoft Azure Cloud solves server infrastructure challenges

Arizona based telecommunication equipment manufacturer with a roster of 150+ clients found it difficult to manage its server infrastructure. With multiple business units spread across 3 continents and a decentralized decision making structure, the company-wide integration between these business units was becoming challenging. The SharePoint farm site they had on-prem was unable to carry the heavy workload. A decision to move the SharePoint site to the Azure cloud saw them reaching out to Apps4Rent- a leading managed Azure cloud service provider.

The Situation

An Arizona based telecommunication equipment manufacturer was managing a SharePoint Farm platform on its on-prem server. The business has been growing steadily over the last few years with operations expanded now to 3 continents, servicing 150+ clients. With IT infrastructure distributed across their business units, each unit takes recourse to individual decision making for itself. To improve collaboration & best practices sharing and drive agility in operations, the SharePoint site acts as a key communication platform. The company’s 1800+ strong employee base from across locations collaborate through an intranet built on the SharePoint Farm site. Optimizing SharePoint’s sophisticated features, the company had built 70+ custom features installed into its IT network. However, the complexity and cost of maintenance of the site was getting challenging by the day.

Moreover, they realized the SharePoint site was unable to carry such heavy workloads. It needed an improved, robust server infrastructure. They took the decision to shift the SharePoint instance to Microsoft Azure cloud to overcome this challenge. But moving critical data to cloud saw them reconsider their decision.

“Our pool of 1800+ users collaborating on the SharePoint site with huge workload took a toll on our server. We knew cloud was a solution to make the business asset light. But moving critical data that included among other things, sensitive client contract documents, saw us pushing the decision repeatedly. That’s when we met the Apps4Rent people who helped us overcome this skepticism by assuring that Azure is the best bet we have. They also instilled the confidence that they can manage it with ease.

— Senior Manager, IT


How Apps4Rent carried out the complex migration of SharePoint to Azure

Apps4Rent – a 1-Tier Azure CSP reseller with more than 5000 SharePoint migration tasks completed, suggested Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines to the client. We knew it will enable instant access and provisioning of virtual server for installing and configuring the SharePoint instance. It’s flexible and enables users to build applications across a global network of Microsoft-managed datacenters.

Our Microsoft certified SharePoint and Azure experts worked together to integrate the SharePoint site on Azure. We created a demo environment on the lab server to test the migration task. We assigned different parts of SharePoint site by having multiple instances across different servers, either virtual or physical. The speed and agility with which one can work on Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines, saw us bring down the testing time to 2 weeks, which otherwise would take few months. We finally managed to successfully migrate the SharePoint Farm platform in Azure in a record 3 weeks’ time. .

Benefits gained by the client

Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines helped the client dramatically reduce the time and cost for testing the environment. The Apps4Rent team incrementally shifted workloads to Azure Virtual Machines. This had a two-pronged benefit:

  • It helped reduce costs
  • It did not disrupt the day-to-day business operations

There are no caps on resource utilization.  Because of virtualization and automation, the need to acquire and provision physical servers were no longer necessary. The installation and configuration of all software components on the server are now scripted.

The pay as you go structure of Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines facilitated server resources to switch on and off as per need to save money. In addition, a virtual machine on Microsoft server lets it move freely between on-premise physical servers, servers at a company’s hosting providers or Microsoft Azure, and back again as the need.

Apps4Rent has been maintaining the SharePoint site on Azure cloud for the last 16 months, without any disruptions.

The scalability that Azure offers is amazing. We were impressed by the fact how quickly Apps4Rent could test and deploy the SharePoint site on the Azure cloud. Their engineers know the intricate workings of Azure. We haven’t faced any problems with the deployment so far and are looking forward to extending the maintenance contract with them.

— Senior Manager, IT